Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low Birth Weight Infants May Have Cognitive And Physical Problems When They Reach Adolescence

Date:
October 3, 2006
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Sixteen-year-olds who weighed less than 2,000 grams (about 4.5 pounds) at birth and are not disabled are still more likely than the average teenager to have physical and mental difficulties, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Sixteen-year-olds who weighed less than 2,000 grams (about 4.5 pounds) at birth and are not disabled are still more likely than the average teenager to have physical and mental difficulties, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Related Articles


Low birth weight is known to increase the risk for major disabilities such as cerebral palsy and mental retardation, but researchers now suspect that low birth weight may also contribute to minor difficulties in motor skills and in thinking, learning and memory (cognitive abilities). These problems may last into adolescence, according to background information in the article.

Agnes H. Whitaker, M.D., Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, and colleagues studied 474 non-disabled adolescents who were born at or admitted to one of three New Jersey hospitals between 1984 and 1987 and weighed less than 2,000 grams at birth. The participants, who had an average age of 16 at the time of assessment for this study, underwent intelligence and motor tests in their homes.

Compared with the standardization sample, or the large group of teens used to provide a reference point for the assessments, the adolescents with low birth weight had more motor problems. Their IQ scores were within the normal range, but on average were significantly lower than the average for their age group. Those who were male, who had injuries to the white matter (nerve tissue) of the brain on neonatal ultrasound and who spent more days on a ventilator as an infant were more likely to have motor difficulties. Social disadvantages, a lower fetal growth ratio (calculated by dividing birth weight by the median weight for the infant's age) and white matter injury also predicted lower IQ scores.

"The finding that, independent of social risk, specific prenatal, perinatal and neonatal biological risk factors are associated with cognitive and motor outcomes as late as adolescence runs counter to the view that, absent severe disability, early biological risk factors are of little importance in later life," the authors conclude. "The prevention of white matter injury and the need for mechanical ventilation may be key to improving motor outcomes, whereas the prevention of intrauterine growth retardation (or perhaps impaired head growth) and white matter injury may be key to improving cognitive outcomes. Taken together, these findings suggest that enhanced maternal-fetal and neonatal care have the potential to substantially improve cognitive and motor outcomes for non-disabled low birth weight adolescents."

This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and a grant from the March of Dimes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Low Birth Weight Infants May Have Cognitive And Physical Problems When They Reach Adolescence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061002215210.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2006, October 3). Low Birth Weight Infants May Have Cognitive And Physical Problems When They Reach Adolescence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061002215210.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Low Birth Weight Infants May Have Cognitive And Physical Problems When They Reach Adolescence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061002215210.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins